Can a group, revise the version of the preamble to include anorexia?
Anything you do to make it easier for a newcomer to identify is useful. So including anorexia in the meeting readings is helpful.
I would recommend against modifying the Preamble the way you suggest. It is copyrighted material and altering it may infringe on the FWS copyright on the materials. What I would recommend is adding the change you would like to the meeting format.
If you would like to propose that the Preamble gets modified to include anorexia, you can make a motion for the upcoming ABM.
Two of the fellowship Traditions could be applicable to this question. Tradition 4 states that “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting S.L.A.A. as a whole.” It seems unlikely that changing or adding a few words in the preamble would affect SLAA as a whole, so the group would probably not be in conflict with the Tradition in doing so.
Tradition 5 states that: “Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its’ message to the Sex and Love Addict that still suffers.” While changing the preamble could have a negative effect on carrying that message, with the revision proposed it does not seem likely. So, it does not appear that the revision would be in conflict with Tradition 5 either.
However, in my experience it is not a good idea to change conference approved literature and / or core documents. It can cause confusion for members to hear different versions at different meetings. Having gone to an anorexic focus meeting for many years, we have found it best to keep conference approved literature and core documents as is, and instead find another way to incorporate the message into our format and / or readings.
A meeting is free to do whatever it wishes as long as it does not impact the rest of the Fellowship. To alter the SLAA Preamble is certainly something that each meeting has a right to do. We do not expel meetings. We do not require much of them, although we do suggest they abide by the Traditions and the Concepts. However, a disclaimer would be appreciated by the rest of the Fellowship.
If a meeting drifts too far away from the spirit of SLAA, it is presumed they would voluntarily separate themselves from the Fellowship. If a meeting drifts too far away from the Steps and Traditions, it will not survive. But these issues are best addressed in the individual meeting’s business meeting. And of course we hope that the business meeting abides with the guidance of the 12 Concepts.
You are encouraged to submit a motion or even an “item for discussion” to the Annual Business Meeting (ABM) suggesting such a change to the Preamble. It is what the ABM is for.
What do you think?
The CSTCC is a group of volunteers, some of whom were ABM delegates, and others who volunteered out of interest. We do not represent a group conscience of S.L.A.A., but are committed to bringing thoughtful discussion and study of 12 Step Fellowship literature and experience to the questions that are brought to us. We offer this summary as the results of our discussions. We present the major points of concern in the hopes that wider discussion in the Fellowship will help us evolve our customs and practice of the S.L.A.A. program of recovery to better represent the loving guidance of a Higher Power. Always, we affirm the autonomy of each group and the need for each individual to follow her/his own conscience. No decision of this group, or any other, is ever forced upon another, even when we believe a practice is clearly in conflict with the Steps, Traditions, or Concepts.